For my first official tea review blog post on Blake’s Tea Journal, I thought I would relay my notes from the first entry in my personal tea journal (my hard copy pen and paper journal). I first reviewed this tea back in November of 2016. The tea was the Ginseng Green tea sold by adagio teas; they still sell it. The price is still same as when I first tried the tea, which is currently $2 for a sample packet and $8 for 3 oz bag.
The Ginseng Green tea is a loose leaf green tea with ginseng root and natural ginseng flavor. Out of the package the dry leaves had a pretty pungent aroma.
The aroma had some more subtle hints of grassiness and a little bit of a woodiness, but the dominant note had a rather medicinal quality. I’m assuming that this is from probably from the “natural ginseng flavor.” The leaves thenselves were mostly broken bits, and had a darkened, somewhat more oxidized looking, green color. For brewing, I added 2-3 tea spoons of the dried tea and steeped it for 45 seconds; Since it was a green tea, I didn’t wash before the first infusion. The liquid had a pleasant pale, almost golden green, yellow color. The aroma off the brewed tea still had that strong medicinal smell. Upon tasting the tea, I found that it tasted much like it smelled. The medicinal “ginseng” flavor was not quite as strong as it smelled, but was still a bit overwhelming. The tea was fairly astringent, leaving a slightly dry feeling in my mouth after a few sips. On the backend, the tea did a slightly sweet finish. After finishing the first infusion I decided that this tea was okay, but not great. The ginseng flavor just seemed to be too pungent and overpowering for me to really enjoy the tea. However, I went ahead and proceeded with making a second infusion; I resteeped the same leaves for approximately a minute. Unfortunately, the “ginseng” flavor and smell was still overpowering in the second infusion. And by that point it was even starting to give me little bit of a headache.
In summary, I didn’t particularily enjoy the Ginseng Green tea. The overly medicinal “ginseng” scent was too pungent and its flavor too overwhelming for my tastes. For me, the only redeeming quality of this tea was the lightly sweet finish. Perhaps an even shorter infusion time (less than 45 s) combined with a quick wash before the first infusion could lighten it up enough to be enjoyable. I should note that the tea I was trying was from a sample pack, so it’s possible that the batch I got was not fully representative. So far I’ve stayed away from this particular tea (I haven’t had any since the initial tasting and review), but maybe I’ll give it second chance and try the lighter brewing protocol at some point in time.
Have you ever tried this tea? If so, please comment and let me know what you thought. Also, I want to continually improve the quality of my posts, so if you have any suggestions please comment and tell me how I can do better.
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